Research Internship: African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD)

Background

There is wide agreement globally that gender responsiveness is critical for Africa to achieve the transformation that is so desperately needed for food and nutrition security. For example, Sustainable Development Goal No. 5 focuses on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, which includes ensuring women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life. The African Union (AU) has declared 2015 the Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development.

Gender responsiveness is justified from both social justice and economic efficiency standpoints. Societal structures that systematically marginalize, exclude or oppress women deprive them of their human rights, and affect not only their welfare but that of their families and communities as well. At the same time, society and economic systems are underutilizing women’s energy, creativity and wisdom, all of which is needed to respond to increasingly complex development challenges. In fact, in its Gender Action Plan (2006) the World Bank referred to investments in women and gender equality as “smart economics”.

African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) wishes to contribute to a prosperous Africa – a continent that is able to sustain food and nutrition security for all its people. AWARD invests in African women scientists and institutions to deliver innovative gender responsive Agricultural Research and Development. We believe that if Africa’s agricultural system is to appropriately and effectively serve African society and its core constituency -its farmers, especially women smallholder farmers – in a sustained manner, its culture, policies and practices will need to reflect gender-responsiveness and significant leadership by women. Without these emphases and results (outcomes and impacts), the agricultural system will be less resilient and less effective

Since 2008, AWARD’s tailored career-development fellowships have equipped top women agricultural scientists across sub-Saharan Africa to accelerate agricultural gains by strengthening their science and leadership skills.

AWARD stands at critical crossroads. Phase II of the program ends in 2017 and AWARD the process of drafting a new strategic plan. AWARD must consider whether the transformative change it seeks demands that a much larger audience is reached.

In the new strategic visioning, AWARD’s mission is to invest in leading African women scientists and institutions to deliver innovative gender responsive Agricultural Research and Development (ARD).

As a consequence, in addition to investing in individuals as the current fellowship does, AWARD intends to:

  • Strengthen the institutional environment.
  • Play an advocacy role and act as convener for agricultural policy discourse.

AWARD recognizes that there are several players in the ARD sector undertaking gender related endeavors at various levels (national, regional and global). At the same time, it is not clear who is doing what. AWARD aspires to be a convener and leader in gender responsive ARD in Africa. This requires us to examine the landscape and better understand who is doing what and where in gender responsive agriculture (GRA) in general and particularly within agricultural research and development. There is need to do further reflection on the gender landscape in Africa to more ably curve out an optimal entry point/niche for AWARD.

Overall objective

The assignment will identify the key players in GRA in Africa and globally; their area of focus and other highlights on their mandate. The study will also provide a better understanding of appropriate entry points for AWARD and other actors. The study will focus on globally published (peer reviewed) and unpublished or gray literature on gender responsive ARD.

Specific objectives

  1. Identify the range of themes, concepts, models and definitions for gender responsive agricultural research practice applied within gray and published literature;
  2. Understand drivers (incentives/opportunities) for and limitations/barriers to gender responsive ARD at micro (individual researchers), meso (institutions) and macro (societal and global) levels.
  3. Explore short term and long term consequences for gender responsive ARD.
  4. Identify and understand the effects of non-gender-responsive ARD practice.
  5. Identify successful approaches/best/good practices, gaps/lessons learned and challenges around mainstreaming gender responsiveness in agricultural research practice (e.g. what approaches are used globally and regionally and why? Is choice of approach evidence-informed? Do existing documents furnish information on the relative effectiveness of different approaches in a variety of contexts? What assumptions commonly underpin the various approaches/models? Etc.)
  6. Understand approaches applied and/or potentially applicable for mainstreaming gender responsiveness within: a) internal cultures of ARD institutions and b) research supported/conducted by ARD institutions
  7. Identify partners/stakeholders involved in strengthening gender responsive agricultural research in Africa

Activities

Guided by AWARD’s study advisory group, the intern(s) will participate in the following:

  • Weekly meetings/consultations with AWARD staff and members of the study advisory group
  • Reading and familiarization of key AWARD background documents
  • Finalizing review protocol
  • Document search
  • Document Review Tool development and testing
  • Document review/coding
  • Data cleaning/Analysis
  • Report writing

Duration of assignment

Two to three calendar months, flexible start and end dates. Opportunities may be available for both spring and Summer 2016.

This is an unpaid internship position. However, the research associate will be encouraged and supported to publish from the data. With prior arrangement at your home institution, it is possible that the internship may involve academic credit.

The research associate will have a virtual working arrangement and will involve weekly calls with the study advisory group.

Additional opportunities for research collaboration may be possible upon successful completion of this project.

Benefits to Students

  • Opportunity to publish from the data
  • Build your professional network
  • Contribute to laying AWARD’s groundwork for gender responsive agricultural research and development in Africa
  • With prior arrangement at your home institution, academic credit may be available

Qualifications

  • Masters or PhD student
  • Experience and interest in agricultural research and development
  • Experience and interest in gender responsive agriculture
  • Experience in development research, literature and desk reviews
  • Great writing and communication skills
  • Experience with data analysis with statistical software

To Apply

To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter and two writing samples (at least one of a research paper) to a.nkwake@cgiar.org by January 30th, 2015

Communication

The contact persons at AWARD for day to day work will be with:

Apollo M. Nkwake PhD, CE. Senior Manager, Monitoring and Evaluation Email: A.Nkwake@cgiar.org Direct   +254 (0) 20 722 4509 Mobile +254 (0) 728836261

Dorothy Mukhebi, MSc. Deputy Director, Fellowships and Institutional Partnerships Email: d.mukhebi@cgiar.org; Direct: +254 (0) 20 722 4449 Mobile: +254(0)714 052 571

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